THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE TREATMENT. As we promised, we herewith give the philosophy of the method prescribed by Dr. Benjamin Howard, published in our last issue : Death from drowning is caused not because of the presence of water, as such, but because of the absence of fresh air from the chest. Whether excluded by water, as in drowning; by a cord closing the windpipe, as in hanging ; by dense smoke, as in a burning building ; by foul gas, as in an old well, or from escape of ordinary burning gas into a close room ; whether by burying the face in a soft pillow, or by a piece of tough meat lodged in the throat, corking up the entrance to the windpipe —in all these cases the immediate cause of death is one and the same. TJie hreath is the life. Let it be shut out from the chest, or anything else be entirely substituted for it, and suffocation at once begins, and this continued always ends in death. To avert death, then, and re-awaken life in all these cases, you must not begin by giving a little stimulus, or something reviving," as it is called ; not by applying hot blankets, or putting the patient into a nice warm bed. The first and i]istant necessity is, if possible, to give breath until the patient is sufficiently recovered to be able to take breath forhim-silf. This alone can start life again, and maintain it in action. If the draft and door of a stove is long kept tightly closed, the fire dies away to an interior spark. If in this condition you begin to put in more coal, your disturbance is very likely to completely extinguish the remaining spark. To apply heat in any form to the outside around the stove would be simply absurd and ridiculous. If, on the contrary, you should open the draft,rake away the ashes and dead coals from the mouth of the draft up to the interior spark, open the damper and set a current of air in motion through the stove, or, in a great emergency, add a few gentle steady puff's from the bellows, you would be adopting what all experience proves to be the most sensible and only successful way to rekindle your fire to brightness and warmth. The relation of fresh air to the burning of a fire is precisely what it is to the reviving and continuance of life. Therefore, if the friction, the breeze, and the slap upon the nerves over the stomach, as directed in Rule 1, fail to atartle and revive the patient, then it is necessary to see at once that the track from the mouth to the chest is clear, so that the passage of air to the chest be not obstructed. By following the directions of Rule 2, fluids accumulated in the stomach, chest, or throat, are removed. The stomach, at a greater elevation than any other part of the track, is pressed betv/een the roll of clothing and the spine, whence water or other accumulations have a complete drainage down to and out of the mouth, which is the lowest point. The next step is to induce air to enter the chest by what is called artificial breathing or respiration. Rule 3 prevents the tongue tumbling back into the throat, to choke it up as by a piece of dead meat, and provides for its tip being kept out and to one side of the mouth. Also by keeping the arms well stretched back, helps to keep the chest somewhat expanded. The actual breathing is effected by the directions in Rule 4. In order to understand this, it must be remembered ihat the chest containing the elastic lungs is an open-work, ribbed, bony box, which above the bottom ot the breast bone is scarcely movable, except by one's own will, the ribs being fastened both in front to the breast bone and behind to the spine. The ribs below the breast bone—known as the short ribs—are fastened only behind to the spine; they are very elastic and loose, and thus are called the floating ribs. It is this enables any foolish woman to diminish the size of her waist to any standard fashion may demand. All the breathing necessary to life can be performed by this part of the chest alone, as is generally the case during sleep. When the pressure is made upon this part of the chest, then, as directed in Rule 4, the cavity of the chest is greatly diminished ; what air is in it is partially forced out; and on suddenly letting go, the natural elasticity of these semi-cartilaginous ribs compels them to spring back to their natural position. This would create a vacuum, but that the fresh air is thus compelled to rush in through the mouth to occupy the otherwise vacant space. This action, repeated as directed, compels successive volumes of fresh air to enter the chest just as occurs in natural breathing, and so it is called and constitutes " artificial breathing " or " artificial respiration." The first returning natural gasps are apt to be irregular, and if the artificial breathing be continued regardless of them, the motions of the operator may actually interfere with and interrupt hem: therefore, as directed in Rule 5, let your motions be so timed to the natural effort of the patient as simply to aid and deepen his breathing, which is as yet imperfect and insuflScient. With life comes heat, but the latter may be greatly favored by following the direction in Rule 6. Warmth, rest, and fresh air are now to be regarded as the important means of completing the resuscitation already begun. These rules, except Rule 2, are equally applicable in apparent death from suffocation from any cause whatever, whether f rom hanging, chlorof orm, f oul gases, or in still-birth. In the latter case, the lungs never having been expanded, it is better to combine forcible inflation by the mouth alternately with tiie forcible expiration by pressure. To practice forcible inflation, the mouth being well cleared of mucus, close the nostrils with one hand while with tlie other you open the mouth widely by pressing upon the lower front teeth. The larynx, known as " Adam's Apple," is gently pressed upon so as to prevent air passing behind it into the stomach; and then, having taken a very full breath, fit your lips to those of the patient, and blow with a steady force, nearly emptying your lungs at one effort; then compress as directed in regular alternation. In death from either of the above-mentioned causes, the machinery of the human system is in no part damaged or broken ; the engine has only ceased moving, the fires of life being put out. It is this which allows a hope of resuscitation we cannot cherish in death from other causes. In some of these cases, so long does the vital spark finger after all signs of life have ceased, that recoveries are recorded from a few minutes to two or three hours after the patient, but for artificial respiration, would have been abandoned for burial. Since a few familiar lectures on the subject of resuscitation were given to some of the policemen of New York, the resuscitation of drowned persons by them has been frequently reported. By an hour's practice upon a friend, any reader may acquire as much skill for such emergencies as a physician need possess, and at this small cost may perhaps obtain the life-long satisfaction of having restored one or more valuable lives otherwise irrecoverably lost. How to Make Asphalt Walks. Supposing that the walks are cut out, the bottoms filled up with rough ashes or other material to within about three inches of the desired le\ el, rolled firm, and the edges of stone or box laid, commence to prepare the asphalt as follows : A clean space having been made near ihe large heap of sifted ashes, two men set to with shovels, hy taking about two bar-rowfuls from the heap and spreading it in a circle, about three or four inches deep, a little to ore side. The tar is then lifted out of the tubs with a long-handled ladle, and poured over the ashes until they have got just sufficient to soak them without any going to waste by draining away. Then, much in the same way as a mason's laborer mixes mortar, the ashes are turned quickly over once or twice, the better to soak them, and again laid a little to one side as the foundation of the heap. Another similar qrantity of ashes is again drawn from the large heap, soaked md turned in the same manner, and thrown on the top of the first; and so on, until the whole is finished and thrown up in a conical heap. This is the first stage. The heap is now alowed to stand for about ten days, or longer if the walks are rot ready. By that time the ashes will have absorbed the tar thoroughly, and will appear to be much drier than at first, vhen the same operation of turning the heap by small quantities at a time, and soaking with tar, is again repeated as lefore, the object being to add just sufficient tar to make the ashes " sticky " without making a puddle of them. The evd of too mnch tar is that the walks are soft, and the tar comts up to the surface in the rolling. For this reason it is betterto leave the heap to drain for a week or so after the second timing also. This much being accomplished and supposing all to have gone right, it will now be time t) make the walks. Some fine morning, and when there isa prospect of the weather being dry for a day or two, all th barrows are put in action. Two men are set to fill, with stict injunctions to take the heap straight forward as it comjs, as the ashes are always wettest in the center of the heap, and driest at the sides ; and two are set to spread the asphalt on the walks as it arrives, about three inches deep, with iron rakes, using the back or teeth of the rake as may be needful, and taking care to have the walk slightly round in the middle. Putting on or spreading the asphalt does not take so long as might be imagined —six or eight men will cover one hundred yards of walk, six feet broad, in about three hours. After spreading, the walk is then rolled with a heavy roller, two men pulling it slowly along, and one going behind, sweeping the asphalt off with a besom as it sticks to the roller, whose duty it is also to wash the roller at the end of each journey. After being rolled for an hour or two until it is middling firm, the walk will be ready for sprinkling with the spar or gravel. Whatever material is used, it should be got ready beforehand. Derbyshire spar mixed with shale, gives the walks a clean, smart appearance ; but common river gravel, put through a half inch sieve, would do well, and would give the appearance of a smoothly-rolled gravel walk. The spar is sprinkled on regularly with the hand, and just thick enough to hide the black surface of the asphalt, then rolled in with the roller until the walk is smooth and firm, when it is finished and fit for traffic. It should, however, be rolled for three or four mornings in succession, before the sun gets strong, in order to insure a firm "set." The objections which have been urged against asphalt walks for gardens are that in hot weather the tar smells disagreeably, and that it is injurious to box-edgings and the roots of trees. As regards the smell, it soon almost disappears, and even in very hot weather it is never so perceptible as to be in the least disagreeable. Box does not thrive very well if it has not got established before the walks are asphalted ; but when it becomes well rooted, it thrives as luxuriantly as could be desired. Stone edging, which is neat and substantial, resists the hardest frost, harbors no vermin, and saves much labor, is in every way superior to box for the kitchen-garden. Mary Somerville. One of the most remarkable women of the age is Mrs. Somerville. It is particularly appropriate to speak of her at this time, as she has just put forth a very able work upon Molecular and Microscopic Science, which is attracting much attention, both on account of its intrinsic merit, and the advanced age of its gifted authoress. Mrs. Somerville was born at Jedburgh, in Scotland, about 1796. Her father was Vice-Admiral Sir William Fairf ax. Her first husband was Samuel Gray, Esq., a man of considerable ability and acquirements, who taught her the elements of mathematics and the physical sciences. After his death she was married to William Somerville, M. D., of Edinburgh. The successive steps by which she has gained distinction, are well enumerated in the following extract from the Fdin-hurgh Remew for July. " The world is not unfrequently called upon to admire the keen interest and powerful grasp which veterans foremost in the ranks of science retain in their various pursuits up to the latest moments ol an advanced age. It is, however, we believe, a case without a parallel in the annals of science that a lady in her eightieth year should publish a work containing a complete review of some ot the most recent and abstruse researches of modern science, dgcribing not only the discoveries in physics and chemistry, but especially the revelations of the microscope in the vegetable and animal worlds. Before many distinguished cultivators of the sciences she loves so well were born, Mrs. Somerville had taken a place among original investigators of nature, as in 1826 she presented to the Royal Society a paper on the magnetizing power of the more refrangible solar rays. This communication is printed in the ' Philosophical Transactions,' and led to much discussion on a difficult poini of experimental inquiry, which was only set at rest some years later by the researches of Riess and Moser, two distinguished German electricians, in which the action upon the magnetic needle was shown not to have been caused by the violet rays. In 1832 she published her ' Mechanism of the Heavens,' and in 1834 she became still more widely known by the appearance of her ' Connection of the Physical Sciences,' and the * Physical Geography.' These works have passed through many editions, and have been translated into several foreign languages; whilst in this country her services to geographical science have been recognized by the award of the Victoria medal for 1869 of the Royal Geographical Society. In her work on * Molecular and Microscopic Science,' the gift of lucid description, so characteristic of the distinguished authoress of the ' Connection of the Physical Sciences,' is as conspicuous as ever; but that which most forcibly strikes the reader of these pages is tho extraordinary power of mental assimilation of scientific facts and theories which Mrs. Somerville displays." Japanese Art. The experience of the last few years during which the long-closed gates of the Japanese Empire have been open to us, has naturally enlarged our knowledge as to that peculiar people. Resembling, as might be expected, the products of the neighboring country of China, the fabrics of Japan are, however, far superior to those of the Flowery Land, and this not only in mechanical exertion, but in freedom of design and fertility of invention. The works of the Japanese workman, particularly if regarded in an artistic point of view, display an energy of individual thought strangely contrasting with the conventional uniformity, the mental paralysis which, possibly resulting from political causes, has ever since the earliest date of modern history afflicted the wonderful people to whom may undoubtedly be ascribed the invention of 151 several of the mightiest, the most essential aids to civilization. This superiority of the Japanese is, as may be expected, more clearly visible in the representation of living figures, and particularly of the human form. Nothing can offer a more vivid contrast than the egg-shaped simpering faces, the entire absence of anatomy so long familiar to us on Chinese fans or porcelain, when compared with the vigorous muscular developments, the expressive countenances, and the ever-present sense of fun which pervades even the common picture-books of Japan. Printed and colored by blocks, and obviously very cheap, their amount of artistic power is truly remarkable, and the Japanese schoolboy has needed no Felix Summerly to stand up for his rights to be nourished on good mental food so far as relates to art. It must be admitted that decorum might at times be better guarded. These cheap books are mostly pervaded by a spirit of cariacature, tending, as by its nature cariacature must, to exaggeration. But the Japanese artist can, if he will, confine himsylf within strict academic limits without thereby sacrificing force. A class of ornaments peculiar to these islands may, from their small size, have met with less attention from the ordinary visitor than their merits deserve. We allude to the small steel or bronze carvings which the Japanese wear at their girdles, which—to use the language of the seafaring—have a ribbon rove through them to support a tobacco-box, much like the watch, chain, and seals of the past generation. Some of these will repay close examination. Small in size, for they are rarely larger than an almond shell, they contain but one or two figures, a captive in his dungeon, or a huntsman stabbing a boar, but of singular vividness and breadth of execution. We have in recollection at this moment, a wizard " so lean his eyes were monstrous, while the skin clung but to crate and basket, ribs and spine," that might have sat to the laureate for his life-like word portrait of Merlin's brother enchanter. Hitherto, however, all the specimens of Japanese art wliich have reached England have been ordinary marketable commodities, procurable by any one with a moderate command of ready cash, and it is with much interest that we can now contemplate a specimen of what they themselves regard as an individual specimen of high art. Dr. A. Barton has lent to the South Kensington Museum, England, a painting well known to the critical community of Japan, and wliich indeed—so we are informed—had to be brought away with some precautions to avoid the risk of a governmental (3mbargo. The picture is in water color on silk, or possibly the admixture of silk and paper peculiar to that country, and represents a tiger, life-size, or to speak with strict accuracy, of the size of a leopard, though the colors are those of the huge tiger of Bengal. The animal is in a singularly bold position, giving ample play to the skill of the artist in foreshortening. The body clings to a huge rock, the hind leg appearing on one side, the fore leg on the other, while the chief mass of fur appears above the top of the stone. The creature is gazing at an unseen foe, the eyes fiercely expressive, the formidable jaws open, and the skin flattened over the skull, in the manner any one may observe in the common cat when excited by fear or rage. The most wonderful point in this very curious picture is the manner in which the fur is painted. Each particular hair seems to stand on end, and so accurately are brought out the spiral radiations of separate hairs from a central nucleus that more than one observer has been convinced that they had before them an actual skin and not a pictorial representation. This error is the more easy to fall into, as the chief defect in this marvelously vivid imitation is its want of shadow. This, the common fault in Oriental paintings, causes the limbs to lie flat against the rock and spoils what would otherwise be an almost complete dcctiption. The accessories of the picture, a waterfall, and mossy stones, are dashed in with a singularly bold careless-' ness which, to speak truly, renders it somewhat difficult to decide what the painter meant by his conventional dabs and smears. What Are Brittleworts ? The Diatomacoae, or Brittleworts, are unicellular microscopic plants, so numerous that there is hardly a spot on the face of the earth, from Spitzbergen to Victoria Land, where they may not be found. They abound in the ocean, in still running fresh water, and even on the surface of the bare ground. They extend in latitude beyond the limits of all other plants, and can endure extremes of temperature, being able to exist in thermal springs, and in the pancake ice in the south polar latitudes. Though much too small to be visible to the naked eye, they occur in such countless myriads as to stain the berg and pancake ice wherever they are washed by the swell of the sea ; and when inclosed in the congealing surface of the water, they impart to the brash and the pancake ice a pale ocherous color. Some species of diatoms are so universal that they are found in every region of the globe ; others are local, but the same species does not inhabit both fresh and salt water, though some are found in brackish pools. The ocean teems with them. Though invisible as individuals to the naked eye, the living masses of the pelagic diatoms form colored fringes on larger plants, and cover stones and rocks in cushionlike tufts ; they spread over the surface as delicate velvet, in filamental strata on the sand, or mixed with the scum of living or decayed vegetable matter, floating on the surface of the sea ; and they exist in immense profusion in the open ocean as free forms. The numbers in which they exist in all latitudes, at all seasons, and at all depths—extending from an inch to the lowest limit to which the most attenuated ray of light can penetrate, or at which the pressure permits—are immeasureably in excess of what we have been in the habit 3f assuming. Temperature has little to do with the distribution of diatoms in the tropics ; it decreases with the depth at 1 tolerably fixed rate, till it becomes stationary. It increases in the polar regions with the depth, and approaches the standard, which is probably universal, near the bed of the Dccan. Diatoms are social plants crowded together in vast multi-Ludes. Dr. Waliich met with an enormous assemblage of a aiamental species of Rhizosclenia, which is from six to twenty times as long as it is broad, aggregated in tufted yellow masses, which covered the sea to the depth of some feet, and extended with little interruption throughout six degrees of longitude in the Indian Ocean. They were mixed with glistening yellow cylindrical species of such comparatively gigantic size as to be visible to the naked eye. Other genera constitute the only vegetation in the high latitudes of the Antarctic Ocean. Dr. Hooker observes that fvithout the universal diffusion of diatoms in the south polar Dcean, there would neither be food for the aquatic animals, aor would the water be purified from the carbonic acid which animal respiration and the decomposition of matter produce. These small plants afford an abundant supply of food to the hervivorous Mollusca and other inhabitants of the sea, for they have been found in the stomachs of oysters, whelks, 3rabs, lobsters, scallops, etc. Even the Noctiluci, those Luminous specks that make the wake of a boat shine like silver in a warm summer night, live on the fioating pelagic litems, and countless myriads are devoured by the enormous shoals of Salpi, and other social marine animals.—Mrs. Somerville.
This article was originally published with the title "Restoration of Persons Apparently Dead from Drowning" in Scientific American 21, 10, 150-151 (September 1869)